Instructional Leadership, emphasis: K-12 School Leadership (MEd)
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Direct loans for NAU students

What they are and how to get them

Direct loans are offered directly from the federal government and are meant to help students pay for college. These are the most common type of student loans. Direct loans generally have more favorable terms and conditions than private loans. We recommend using direct loans when possible over private loans.

There are two types of direct loans:

Subsidized loans

Subsidized loans means you won’t be charged interest on the loan while you’re still attending school at least half-time (6+ credits for undergraduate students). Students must demonstrate financial need to be eligible for subsidized loans.

Unsubsidized loans

Unsubsidized loans are available to all undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of financial need. You’re responsible for paying the interest on unsubsidized loans even while you’re still in college.

Tools and resources

  • Entrance counseling: to accept a federal direct loan, you must complete entrance counseling, which will help you understand your loan and how it works. You’ll also need to sign a Master Promissory Note, which is an agreement to repay your loans and their interest.
  • Federal Student Aid is an excellent website to learn more about all things federal financial aid.

Loan limits

The amount of federal direct loans you can receive is based on what year you are in college as well as whether you are considered a dependent of a parent or guardian. If either of these things change in the middle of the school year, it could allow for additional loan funding.

Academic levelDependent
Freshman – <30 units completed$5,500 Sub and Unsub
$3,500 maximum Sub
$9,500 Sub and Unsub
$3,500 maximum Sub
Sophomore – between 30 and 59 units completed$6,500 Sub and Unsub
$4,500 maximum Sub
$10,500 Sub and Unsub
$4,500 maximum Sub
Junior / Senior – 60 units and above completed$7,500 Sub and Unsub
$5,500 maximum Sub
$12,500 Sub and Unsub
$5,500 maximum Sub
Undergraduate second degree or teacher certification$7,500 Sub and Unsub
$5,500 maximum Sub
$12,500 Sub and Unsub
$5,500 maximum Sub
Graduate degree or teacher certification Not Eligible$20,500 Unsub only

Student typeLifetime loan limits, effective 7/1/2008
Dependent undergraduate$31,000 (Sub and Unsub) – $23,000 maximum Sub
Independent undergraduate$57,500 (Sub and Unsub) – $23,000 maximum Sub
Graduate or professional$138,500 (Sub and Unsub) – $65,500 maximum Sub